LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Noel Irwin Hentschel, Chair/CEO of AmericanTours International (ATI), America's largest privately held, American-owned tourism and marketing organization, spoke Friday (16) to the Fresno business community on international relations between the U.S.-China and U.S.-Cuba. In 1977 ATI was co-founded by Hentschel and ATI President Michael Fitzpatrick on the principle that international tourism is vital for establishing strong relationships among people and nations.
“ATI takes Chinese visitors across the U.S. visiting 13 states in 18 days by ATI motorcoach. ‘Hollywood to Broadway’ visits national parks with a favorite stop at the Chinese garden in Des Moines and a nearby Iowa town where China’s President Xi Jinping lived with an American family,” stated Hentschel.
The first public hint that international relations could be improved by a common interest was the “ping-pong diplomacy” of April 1971, when an American group traveled to China for this people to people exchange. “World-wide media coverage of this landmark event showed the international community that tourism between nations is an important step toward peace and understanding,” remarked Hentschel.
Hentschel’s ATI also takes Americans to China and Cuba, opening doors through educational, cultural and religious tourism programs created by the specialist company. “Discovering hidden treasures in China and in Cuba is a niche carved out by ATI. We are able to lead groups to undeveloped places to learn more about history, culture and the opportunity to visit little known sacred sites,” per Hentschel. Bishop Armando Ochoa of the Diocese of Fresno and the 200 business people present expressed a desire to join the upcoming ATI trips to China and Cuba.
Inspired by Mother Teresa, in 1988 Hentschel established The Noel Foundation. Projects in California, Mexico, China, Cuba and Jordan, providing job training to migrant workers, youth and the disabled are ongoing.
Hentschel and her husband Gordon own Stonepine Estate in Carmel Valley, California where they host international symposiums, diplomatic retreats and charitable events. Hentschel serves as Deputy Secretary-General of World Tourism Cities Federation in Beijing.
ATI serves a half million visitors from 70 countries annually generating nearly $3 billion into the U.S. economy. One of California’s major woman owned businesses with offices across America and Beijing, ATI is recognized as the nation's largest tour operator for visitors to the U.S.